Is 90’s Men’s Fashion Back? New-In Check Shirts And Men’s Crop Tops
Product & Style

Is 90’s Men’s Fashion Back? New-In Check Shirts And Men’s Crop Tops

clock-circular-outlinePosted 29 Sep 2023

Calling all gym rats, strongmen, and lifestyle lifters… it’s time to let that midriff shine.

If you thought hoochie daddy shorts were divisive, you’re going to need a whole lot of huberman lab to learn how to calm your nerves with this next trend… Introducing… men’s crop tops.

Can men wear crop tops, you ask?

It’s a resounding yes.

Male crop tops were once a fashion statement in the 90s, sported in film, modelling campaigns, and in your local bodybuilding gyms.

This skin-baring silhouette was closely associated with athleticism at the time, as the shorter hem stood as a way to show off the male physique.

Despite it’s sporty start, after it’s adoption by the fashion scene the cropped style almost faded into obscurity in mens clothing departments and became a symbol of subversion.

But all hope is not lost for those who want to draw attention to their adorned v-lines. We’ve been seeing glimmers of a revival, and we’re here to trailblaze the moment with our all-new crop tops for men.

Don't think it stops at men's crop tops, no, we’re embracing all things 90’s with the Heritage collection. Think oversized everything, slouchy silhouettes, and even a touch of grunge with our first-ever check shirt.

The Best Of 90s Men's Fashion

Fashion has been on quite the journey: consisting of highs and lows, controversial waistlines, and questionable layering choices, ever since the millennium, only for it to circle right back to the 90s… and we’re not complaining.

Slouchy fits now have a comfortable spot in our closet, oversized t-shirts are a modern wardrobe staple, and graphic tees are highly coveted in vintage shops all over the globe.

Gymshark is no stranger to adopting 90s men's fashion trends for our lifting and lifestyle collections, with collegiate pump covers and baggy graphic tees with retro-influenced prints being some of our most popular items to date.

But it’s 2023. We’ve decided to ramp up the “old-school” and drop something new, something with a little heritage…

The Heritage Collection pays homage to the silhouettes of liftings past, reviving the men's crop top for today’s lifter and introducing new 90’s style pieces like our first check shirt, and oversized heavyweight hoodies and bottoms.

When did men's crop tops become a trend?

Formerly known as half-shirts, the crop top craze began in the 80s when American footballers began cropping their sports jerseys in order to show off their chiselled torsos. It was a very masculine look at the time with jock-types, who would cut off the shirt mid-torso to elongate their physique and define the lower ab muscles.

And can we blame them? If you’ve been putting in 15+ hours of training each week, on the pitch or bar rack, why not DIY your clothing to show off your hard work?

But It wasn’t only athletes sporting the trend, a young Jonny Depp famously wore a cropped sports jersey in the 1984 cult classic A Nightmare on Elm Street, whilst Prince subverted the athleticism of the trend by rocking a form-fitting crop top on stage at Wembley in 1986, turning men's crop tops into a high-fashion statement.


In the 90s, Will Smith, no stranger to bold fashion choices, wore a collegiate crop top in the popular show The Fresh Prince Of Bell-Air, and fashion brands like Calvin Klein styled men in crop tops in provocative advertisements for modelling campaigns.

However, the turn of the decade saw a shift from the male crop top signalling a connection with sport and athletics, to being associated with the fashion scene, queerness, and androgyny.

Changing perceptions saw the male crop top become a controversial garment that challenged the notion of masculinity. This attitude continued throughout the 21st century, with the crop top being largely axed from most men’s wardrobes, the image of the silhouette changed to a feminine-coded contemporary item of clothing that represents youth, body positivity and a trendiness… for women.

But what’s wrong with guys showing a little skin on the torso? While you may not be able to walk into every store and buy a men’s crop top today, there are guys reviving the trend and disrupting the idea of a gendered wardrobe.

As the 90s zeitgeist returns for another season, the notion on what it truly means to wear a crop top changes once more. Now celebrated and styled by an entire generation who are welcoming body positivity and identities with open arms, the crop top is here, and we want it to stay.

Over on TikTok, there’s a whole movement of men cropping their shirts and playing around with silhouettes in an otherwise quite limited wardrobe

Whether you’re a fan of the old-school aesthetic, want to show off your abs, reject the notion of a gendered wardrobe, or find empowerment in your clothing, the crop-top may just become your new go-to gym 'fit.

Heritage collection… take the stage.

New In – Gymshark Check Shirt And Men’s Crop Tops

Our heritage was born in the weights room, moulded by the community and remains firmly grounded in the bodybuilding world.

We make classic clothing for weightlifters, but we never want to stop being disruptive, and we know you don’t either. Trends can be more than a passing train to hop on to, they can actually break down walls and enable people to find their identities.

The Gymshark Heritage collection demands attention with a fusion of old-school bodybuilding silhouettes and new trend-led styles that accentuate the male physique and allow lifters to reach their goals without compromising on style.

Gymshark Heritage Collection

If you like the Power Collection, then you’re going to love Heritage. The collection takes influence from the old-school with retro graphics featuring superhero-style logos, boxy shapes, baggy sweats, comfortable crewnecks and the perfect-length pump covers. Lifting has never looked so good.

For those who like to experiment with different styles and silhouettes and like making bold fashion choices, then look no further than the new Heritage Crop Top. Wear this when your chiselled torsos want to come out to play and give your gym ‘fits a new lease of life.

Gymshark Flannel Shirt

We’ve introduced a brand new product to this collection in the shape of the Gymshark Check Shirt, a one-of-a-kind piece that lets you embrace your inner ’90s grunge or lumberjack… take your pick. This piece offers an alternative look to gym wear and is a great piece to layer in and out of the gym.

What’s In The Collection?

Premium fabrics, distinct silhouettes designed with the bodybuilder’s shape in mind, and distressed vintage aesthetics. Heritage has everything you need to push your boundaries and look good doing so.

These pieces are available in the following colourways; onyx grey, dusk green, vintage blue, smokey grey, desert beige, and navy.

How To Crop A Shirt At Home

Tips on how to dress for your body shape have become all the rage on TikTok, and a growing number of menswear influencers on the app have begun chopping their shirts to achieve a more complimentary silhouette.

What Was The Issue?

Many fashion influencers had a gripe with men’s t-shirts often being too long, not sitting exactly where they wanted them to, and ultimately, not flattering the proportions of their bodies.

The solution? Crop your shirt at the waistline of your trousers for a stylish boxy silhouette. This will give the appearance of longer legs if you find that t-shirts shorten your frame and make your legs look stubby.

Follow crop top enthusiast Hamza Abou Ammo over on TikTok @ayoungmess for men's cropped shirt styling tips.

Cut Your Own DIY Crop Top

  1. Put on the top you want to crop and your favorite pants and stand in front of the mirror. Make a mark with a pen or chalk, or pin where you’d like the new hem to come.

  2. Remove the top and place on a hard surface to cut. If you like the raw hemline look, go ahead and take a pair of fabric scissors and cut directly at the point of the new hem. If you want to sew a new hemline for a cleaner look, keep an extra 2cm of t-shirt from the marked point and cut from there.

  3. Your new cropped t-shirt is ready! If you’re creating a new hemline, use an overlocking sewing machine to overlock the raw edge. Turn your tee inside out and fold along the new hemline so the overlocked seam is tucked into the inside of your crop top. Place some pins along the new hemline and use a straight line stitch to sew it to the top either by hand or using a sewing machine.

For more mens styling tips, check out our product and style hub on Gymshark Central and find your ‘fit!.

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